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Interview with a Zombie

Q&A with Rick Genest


Timo Weiland - Front Row & Backstage- Spring 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Robin Marchant / Contributor / WireImage / Getty Images
It should come as no surprise that Rick Genest's favorite section of the newspaper is the obituaries.

Having tattooed himself into a living corpse complete with flesh eating parasites, Zombie Boy quite frankly doesn't seem to be afraid of death or insects for that matter; but the world simply can't be normal after one takes their skin and inks their living canvas to depict life after death.

In his words, this is an interview with a zombie; a fashionable one at that.

From rags to riches is basically your story. How many couture designer suits have you kept from the runway?

I cannot recall for certain but there have been a few nice pieces from our fashion work.

How has this level of success changed you as a person? Are you ready for more?

Well, I would have to say that I am still very far from my planned goal. I would love to excel in acting, as well as perform in carnivals and freak shows. I always loved horror, and one day wish to make a living in this domain.

Who’s idea was the zombie transformation?

Well, the idea was either my grandmothers or the mailman's; the details of that bikini party are shady at best.

Was there ever a point where you have been scared of what you’ve done to yourself and your body?

Absolutely not! I worked very hard at achieving this goal for over a decade. Whether under the needle, knife, roof, the sun or the moon; this project has been my lifelong ticket to the big tent.

Do you feel more vulnerable or human wearing your inside on the outside?

In all honesty, I see it for what it is; Ink. As paint is to a brush on canvas. Should there be an irrational fear of artistic creation? Rather I feel developed and consequently more experienced than vulnerable.

What is the theme of your body art?

My body art depicts anarchy. As an anarchist, there is a call for revolution. The first stage of a revolution is defiance. Appearing to be dead while alive defies the very laws of nature itself.

To the punk community you want to say “what” about how you’re still a Montreal street punk even though you’re rocking the fashion world

Well, I would have to say that punk is mind state and not a place. I’ve also been to the beach and still felt as the same person. Even more, I have always liked to be described as an artist, philosopher or freak.

Describe your ideal girlfriend. Is she heavily tattooed and modified or the girl next door?

Well, she is most beautiful, fun loving, thoughtful of others, loves animals and happiest when chomping on egg sandwiches.

Some people see body art as a lifetime journey not a destination. Now that you’re basically fully tattooed and have reached that destination, what journeys do you hope lie ahead?

As a bonified geek and faquir, I wish to continue to develop my persona through greater acting and performing.

What makes you happiest in life?

What makes me happiest in life is love. When one fights for good things, freedom and other sincerities follow.

Do you want to be perceived as approachable?

Some what; maybe not by lions or bears

Live for the moment or plan ahead. Which one fits you best?

Both, but never astray from your righteous path, for we live in the eternal present; that is the way of the samurai.

Favorite section in the newspaper:

The obituaries.

The world would be a better place if everybody would just__________ (fill in the blank)

Pizza party

Don’t ever sit next to me on the bus and ask me this……

Who’s driving this thing?

After seeing yourself fully covered up with no tattoos for the making of the Dermablend commercial, was there ever a moment (however brief) you wished you could stay that way?


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